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Week Six | The Treasure of the Text

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Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Chapters 11 & 12
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 5 minutes

In my mid-twenties I worked as the Program Director at the same church camp I attended growing up.  What a blessing it was to live on-site at one of the most influential places on earth for both my life and my faith.  It was there that I found reassurance through Christian friendships, that I didn’t have at home, and it was there, at the foot of a 16-foot cross that I dedicated my life to Christ.  It was also a place where I got to explore the beauty of God’s creation.

During the off-season, my roommates and I would hike the trails and ride in the John Deer Gator through the grounds that were typically alive with activity and noise throughout the summer.  I also explored on my own, from time to time, and walked the creek beds looking for wildlife and picturesque views.

There was one section of the creek that I would often sit alongside as I pondered over the words in my Bible as I watched the water flow steadily as it spilled over the rocks.  The water was calming and soothing.  It looked nothing like it had been months prior when the area had been pelted with rain and caused the creek to overspill its banks into the adjacent field.

It’s amazing to think how peaceful and calming water can be, but water is also very powerful.  The same can also be said about the Word of God.

Reflecting back to that time, I see how I only had a surface-level understanding of my faith.  It had been poured into me, gently and soothingly from the time I was young, but I lacked a depth of understanding and heart knowledge.

But fast forward to the summer of 2020, and it was as if God turned a fire hose on me, and suddenly clarity from His Word drenched every fiber of my being.  But because of the powerful blast of knowledge and rapid development of faith, I wasn’t sure which way to turn to continue learning at this level.

I quickly realized the depth that was waiting for me to arrive at this moment, through the study of the context of Scripture.

The Treasure of the Text

In my preparation for this blog, I read chapter 11 of Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg and caught myself nodding along and even laughing out loud.  There is so much relatable information in this one chapter, that I felt noticeably more comfortable about my own experience with God’s Word – including when I came across the quote from Rev. Arthur W. Pink found in the margin of page 151, 

“The Bible does not yield its meaning to lazy people.”

Rev. Arthur W. Pink
[Pardon me for a moment as my true blue and gold West Virginian side comes out…] Ain’t that the truth, y’all!?!

Now I’m not here to say that you’re lazy when it comes to investing in your relationship with God, not at all, but just that so many of us have grown up incorporating a 15-minute devotion or “quiet time” into our days, where we’ve just scratched the surface of the Word, and don’t dare spend a second more looking into the meaning and purpose behind what we’re reading.

Lois Tverberg says on page 146, “Often Jesus’ words in the Gospel presuppose an intimate familiarity with the biblical text.  Sometimes Jesus made bold claims about his mission as Messiah through the Scriptures he quoted.  If you don’t have the text in the back of your mind, some of his powerful statements can sail right past you.”

And that is so true with my experience!  I used to get so irritated by cross-references in my Bible.  No joke!  But it was because they’d send me down a rabbit trail to the Old Testament, a place where I did not feel the slightest bit comfortable spending time in.  Nowadays, I’d rather read and re-read the stories of our Biblical forefathers and foremothers to shed more light on the passages of the New Testament that I already know and love.

Lois also shares on page 145 that “It’s hard to overstate the Jewish love of religious study over the ages.  They’ve long been known as ‘the people of the book’ for their fervency and fondness for study”, and this statement fuels my fire to keep seeking and studying.  

So how do we go from scratching the surface to becoming so immersed in the Word, that we could be considered “women of the book”?

Drip, Drip, Drip

As I mentioned before, during the summer of 2020, a radical shift in my faith took place.  But I also quickly became overwhelmed with the sense that I was “behind” in my learning, so I sincerely relate to Lois’ words on page 152 of the book,

“When I first started studying the Bible’s Hebraic context, I wanted one commentary that would teach me everything, one class that would explain it all.  If I could learn all the ‘right answers’ in one marathon event, all the better.  I find now that God likes to reveal truths over many years, as I study alongside others.  I realize now that big ‘splashes’ aren’t usually God’s way of doing things.  Instead through the slow drip of study and prayer, day after day, year after year, he shapes us into what he wants us to be.”

Lois Tverberg

Though there is an ocean’s worth of depth and breadth that can be studied in God’s Word, we can be reassured that there is no race or competition for ANY of us to get to the end, simply because the vastness is so great!

We don’t have to worry about trying to drink from a fire hose when studying Scripture, but instead, receive an intentional filling of the steady drip of Living Water.

The steadiness and consistency are much more palatable and much more likely to satisfy our thirst for more knowledge and a deeper relationship with Christ anyways.  So take it easy on yourself, and set a plan (or let us help you) to begin immersing yourself in the Word.  Consider what steps are necessary for you to dive deeper to better know the heart of God.

And remember…

“When we grapple with difficult texts or dig into boring background information, it shows our love for Christ, that we’re willing to put time and energy into discerning his words.”

Lois Tverberg, pg. 151 of Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus

1. It takes work to gather meaning from Scripture.
2. Trying to do too much study all at once will easily overwhelm and lead to burnout.
3. There is no competition in Bible study!
4. Finding a steady and consistent plan will help you to become better equipped in deepening your understanding and better knowing the heart of God.

What steps can you take today to begin consistently immersing yourself in the Word to receive your intentional filling?

Shop this study

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus | Lois Tverberg

A 7-week study that will challenge you to follow Rabbi Jesus more closely by re-examining His words in the light of their Jewish context, to provide a richer, deeper understanding of His ministry, compelling us to live differently, and to begin to understand why His first Jewish disciples abandoned everything to follow him, to live out His commands.

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Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg - Fall 2022 Online Biblical Study | Intentionalfilling.com

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